Students – don’t forget to check for your jabs
Press release issued: 1 October 2012
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) and the University of Bristol are encouraging new students to check their immunisation history before starting university this year.
To coincide with the beginning of the academic year, the HPA wants to remind students coming to Bristol about the importance of immunisations such as the MMR and meningococcal C to protect against diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella and meningitis.
Dr Mark Evans from the HPA’s South West (North) Health Protection Unit, said: “At the beginning of term, when students come together, begin to study and live in close quarters, it is not unusual to see an increase in the number of measles and mumps cases, which we know is largely on account of students who are unimmunised.
“According to the latest figures for mumps in Bristol, so far this year, 68 per cent of cases, 13 cases out of 19 can be attributed to the 15-to -25 age range and nearly 70 per cent of the total cases for 2011, 26 cases out of 39 in this age range.
“We know that measles and mumps are highly infectious which is why it is so important that everyone is protected and has received two doses of MMR vaccine.
“The MMR vaccine is given as part of the routine childhood vaccinations at the age of 13 months and the pre-school booster is given between the ages of three years and five years.
“Meningitis is a serious but less common disease and a vaccine is available for meningitis C but not for the other types, including meningococcal B so it is very important to still be alert for the signs and symptoms of the disease. The Meningitis C vaccine is given to babies when they are three and four months old with a dose of the combined Hib/MenC vaccine being given at 12 months.
“It is never too late to check your immunisation history and if needed get protected, contact your GP for an appointment if necessary.”
Dr Dominique Thompson, Director of the University of Bristol Students' Health Service, added: "The doctors and nurses at the University of Bristol Students' Health Service strongly encourage all students to get up to date with their MMR and meningitis C jabs in particular.
“As every year we unfortunately have to look after students with conditions such as Mumps, for which five days away from the university is required as quarantine, and which therefore interferes significantly with academic work.
“Meningitis is rare but does occur also, and we would hope that all our students will take the simple step of making sure they are immunised as soon as possible."
Meningitis C/MMR Immunisation sessions 2012
If you have never had a Meningitis immunisation or two doses of MMR please attend one of the following immunisation sessions at the
University of Bristol Students’ Health Service, Hampton House:
Tuesday 2 October 9.30am to 4.30pm
Wednesday 3 October 9.30am to 4.30pm
Thursday 4 October 9.30am to 4.30pm
Friday 5 October 9.30am to 3.30pm